Times like these makes it hard to keep your teen engaged without letting them cross paths with tech. It is an impossible agenda to rid them “off IT”, so why not employ your children gainfully “with IT”?
My oldest teen-son loves music. It made all the sense to let him explore the world of mixing music with the parents’ guidance. With some ground rules and a joint investment (let the teen pay a portion from his savings for accountability), our son bought a legitimate music editing software. This investment fueled a fire in him. We walked the mile with him to repaint the walls of a room and get the ambience ready for music recording. This is now a family project.
My second teen loves books. He loves children too. Taking his natural interest into serious consideration, my husband and I have encouraged him to start reading stories via audio recordings. He is now in the process of learning to read stories using an appropriate cadence, enunciation, dramatization to enhance his young audience’s listening experience. Moreover, he is exploring the world of sound-editing with his elder brother’’s guidance for the recordings. This has created more opportunities for bonding and mentoring among the brothers.
Our youngest daughter is absorbing all this. She feels involved as she is invited to be the prime audience to observe and critique her siblings’ work of tech-art. She had loads of fun painting the walls and loves to observe the live music recording and story reading.
Tech can be a blessing or a bane. Tech has helped my family mine gold from my teens based on their natural interests. It has allowed them to express their ideas and aptitudes in a language their generation communicates and understands best.
Mine gold from their natural interests. There is surely something safe and learning-worthy out there in the tech-world that they can associate their talents with.
Lay ground-rules before you hand them their “wish.” Get them to invest by giving/ repaying with something that will cost them (chores/ pocket money etc.)
Partner with them. Look for ways to bond with them in their tech-zone. Be their student.